A Dusk Visit to the Penn State Arboretum

Yellow Flag Iris in the Lotus Pool

Last night, the Mister came home from work and seeing that I was frazzled from a, well, frazzling day, suggested we take a walk around the Arboretum. We had about an hour left before it closed to visitors but I really wanted to see if they finally completed repairs to the Rose and Fragrance Garden. This time last year the vast collection of roses were in full bloom and simply amazing but last April when we visited, the garden had been completely gutted.

No they had not. In fact, it was worse. Much, much worse. There were a few plants left: the ‘Kardynal Wyszynski’ were in full bloom and looked sad and odd surrounded by nothing but dirt, trenches and construction equipment. I think I spied a Rosa virginiana also in bloom and also forlorn and alone. Could I find any obvious information posted on their website or at the scene detailing what on earth they are doing and where, for the love of all that’s good and holy, were the roses?! Nope. I can only assume that since this garden is being maintained beautifully by some very capable horticulturists, that the roses and other perennials (those incredible bearded iris…) are being held over someplace safe and will make a return.

Moving onward, we passed through the Pollinator Garden and not much was blooming yet except the Kniphofia uvaria. I have one of these planted in our garden now and can’t wait for it to look like this.


From there, we made a beeline to the splendid row of espaliered apple trees since we’ve been thinking about doing something on a much smaller scale in our garden. These trees are really coming along nicely. The posts on either side looking like telephone poles, don’t they? This garden means business.

It was almost dark, so we made our way back to the car, but I snapped this last photo of one of the twin borders of annuals that line two of the main walks. The chartreuse zinnias especially caught my eye and reminded me I have 3 more packets of seeds of my own to sow. (Better get on that.) There was a wedding reception going on just around the corner under the pavilion and it was a little surreal to be walking amongst a beautiful garden at dusk while be-bopping to “Brickhouse.” I’ll say this much, every visit to the Arboretum has been unique!

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